On this first Sunday in Advent, this morning's sermon not only did not skip that part, the preacher actually discussed this as a better way to celebrate Christmas than those recommended by a culture still touting "stuff" as the road to happiness. This good man was quite direct and clear in reminding us that we are all in need of forgiveness and restoration and this is the work we are each charged to do today.
So, today, what friendship have you failed to tend that you can offer to restore? To what person, who is a rather challenging character, can you offer kindness instead of an interior "harrumph"? What stranger, who looks odd or seems in need, can you touch today? What forgiveness can you offer that models for another the forgiveness that our perfect God offers us anew every time we fall short by what we do or we leave undone?
The Lord says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” - Jeremiah 31:34 (NRSV)